Traffic figures lead to calls to reopen gate

More congestion in Roehampton following Robin Hood closure


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Three local councils are calling for Richmond Park's Robin Hood Gate to be reopened after new traffic figures showed increased congestion on local roads.

Since the gates were closed last August Roehampton Village has suffered most with an extra 250 vehicles an hour northbound during peak periods.

Wandsworth's cabinet member for regeneration and transport Kathy Tracey said the boroughs' worst fears had now been realised: "We said all along that areas like Roehampton Village would bear the brunt of traffic rerouted from the park. It is totally unacceptable that Roehampton people should have to pay for the modest reductions in vehicles using the park. These have been achieved only at the expense of a significant rise in traffic on roads outside the park."

The RPA has admitted that queues are longest at the junction with Danebury Avenue.
Inside the park, traffic entering through the remaining gates has fallen by just four per cent in the mornings and nine per cent in the evenings.

Forty per cent of town-bound vehicles that would previously have used Robin hood Gate now come through Roehampton.

Despite the congestion, the RPA says the gate must stay closed - at least until August 2004 when they will decide whether or not to make it permanent.

The three local authorities bordering the park - Wandsworth, Kingston and Richmond -have been backed by Transport for London who want action to limit the morning queues into Roehampton from the A3.

The full picture is expected to show an even worse picture. The results of traffic counts on Putney Heath Lane are still awaited as are details of bus delays in the area.

Cllr Tracey said that the RPA must order the immediate re-opening of Robin Hood Gate.
The three councils are now expected to call an emergency meeting of the Richmond Park Forum to discuss the issues raised by the new traffic arrangements.

December 11, 2003

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